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SABC training critical in deployed environment, no matter where you go

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Antonio Hickey
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing command chief
During the course of our predeployment training, many of us were probably tempted to click through the online predeployment training modules in the Advanced Distributed Learning System. If you were like me, there was a strong temptation to "fill the square" and get the mandatory training completed quickly so you could spend some quality time with your families and friends before heading out on your deployment.

I know many probably felt the training was overkill and they would never be put into position where they would have to use these skills. Many of us probably felt that since we were operating inside the wire, the chances of something happening which would require these skills was "slim-to-none."

I can tell you that recently, a few of our Airmen found out firsthand that "slim-to-none" does not equal zero. They found themselves in a situation where their Self-Aid Buddy Care training saved the life of someone who was critically injured in a attack here at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

These four Airmen (two staff sergeants, a master sergeant, and a lieutenant colonel) put their skills to the test as they rushed to the aid of the fallen member. They addressed multiple shrapnel injuries to include applying a tourniquet to the individual's right leg, applying direct pressure to stop the bleeding from a serious chest wound, and inserting a nasopharyngeal airway. They did all of it and used the skills taught in our SABC training.

They also assisted a Navy medic as he decompressed the individual's collapsed lung and aided with the careful movement of the patient to a vehicle for transport to more advanced medical care. In short, they saved that person's life.

I felt fortunate to hear the four Airmen tell their story. No bragging ... just telling it matter-of-factly like it was all in a day's work. I have to say I was definitely impressed and humbled.

So, this incident was a perfect example of why we train the way we do even if we never head outside the wire. You really just never know when those skills will be needed and we must be constantly prepared.

Hopefully, you did not give into the temptation to click through the ADLS course for SABC and that you actively participated in the hands-on training. Can you imagine the consequences if you did not learn the procedures and you found yourself as the first person on scene in a similar incident? Hopefully, it will not happen ... but what if it did? Would you be prepared to act as these four Airmen?

If you doubt your ability to do so, please log into ADLS and review these important concepts. I would also recommend that you practice the hands-on portion with a fellow Airman to reinforce the training. Remember, we are all relying on you.